18 Countries to Phase Out Coal, According to Leaked Document
A coalition of 18 countries, plus dozens of banks and other institutions, will pledge to phase out coal-fired power plants domestically and to end funding for international coal projects, according to the British government, which struck the deal at a global climate summit.
The burning of coal is the single greatest contributor to climate change, and ending support for it is a major issue at the United Nations climate change conference.
The new campaign, which is expected to be announced by British officials on Thursday in Glasgow, declares that the end of coal “is in sight” because of the new coalition. The full list of 18 countries was not available, but according to the British government it includes developed and developing countries like Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, Chile and Morocco.
It was unclear whether the United States was part of the agreement. A spokeswoman for John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, did not respond to a request for comment.
The World Coal Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the new announcement but earlier this week said efforts to eliminate coal ignored the fact that coal “remains a critical to energy supply in 80 countries and the livelihood of more than 790 million people who have no access to reliable and affordable power.”
The 190 countries and organizations that make up the new coalition will commit to ending all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally. The time frame was not immediately clear.
They will also agree to make a “just transition away from coal power in a way that benefits workers and communities” and to rapidly scale up the deployment of clean energy like wind and solar power.
“Phasing out coal is essential to reach our climate targets,” Svenja Schulze, Germany’s minister of the environment, said in a statement. “In the near future we will have left behind all fossil fuels and live in a new and sustainable energy world based on renewable energy.”
Michael Bloomberg, who earlier this week announced he would ramp up his American and European campaigns to phase out coal and move into 25 other countries, said in a statement he believes fighting climate change “depends on ending coal-fired power.”
HSBC and Export Development Canada plan to join the group as well, according to the statement.
Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies met in Rome before the climate conference and agreed to eliminate financing for coal plants overseas. They stopped short, though, of pledging to end coal at home because of objections from China, India, Australia and Russia.